Monday, July 30, 2007

The critics of the WARF patents have conflicts of interest

In a post on June 15, 2007, IPBiz alerted readers to the fact that californiastemcellreport declined to discuss the stem cell patent applications of Jeanne Loring, who presented a declaration against the Thomson stem cell patents. It was indeed puzzling to see Loring suggest that the Thomson patent claims were too broad when she had attempted to get broader claims.

WARF has filed an IDS with the USPTO noting the inconsistency with Loring and Trounson filing declarations saying the Thomson work was obvious when, at earlier times, in their own patent applications, they had asserted that similar work was worthy of patents (meaning NOT anticipated and NOT obvious). The IDS is available on the internet.

In a June 30 post on wired, Steven Edwards discusses WARF's recent action, pointing out the conflicts that Loring has. Edwards considers the issues:

Are the patents too broad?
Are the patents hindering embryonic stem-cell research in the U.S.?

With the July 2007 decision of the CAFC in Merck v. Integra (which involved both Burnham and Scripps), the answer to the second question is clearly "no."

Of the first question, the issues in the re-exams are whether the claims in Thomson's patents are anticipated or obvious.

The WARF press release is available, which discusses aspects of an IDS filed with the USPTO on July 24, 2007.

See also

One notes that californiastemcellreport still is not covering this issue.


Re-exam 90/008102 pertains to Thomson's 5,843,780
Re-exam 90/008139 pertains to 6,200,806 and
inter partes re-exam 95/000154 pertains to 7,029,913

The filing of 7/24/07 is available on Public PAIR, as is a filing of 6/29/07 by the third party requester (FTCR/PubPat) which includes some interesting assertions:

p. 3: not a single scientist tried and failed to achieve what is covered by the pending claims

p. 3: public acclaim is not a secondary consideration relevant to the obviousness inquiry unless it is bestowed by those of skill in the art

p. 4: simply because a scientific accomplishment was important does not necessarily mean it was an advance worthy of patenting

p. 4: there is a quote to KSR, the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws.


Blogger Kevin E. Noonan said...

For more on this issue, see "It's Time to Stop the Hypocrisy over Stem Cell Patents - Part I" in the April 17 posting on

7:25 PM  

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